Bionicle could have been so much more...unfortunately, it is not.
Not enough can be said about how good the game could have been. For those who are unaware of the storyline, the Bionicle series follows a group of six elemental "Toa," heroes who defend six villages on a large island, and their continuing quest to defeat their enemy, the evil Makuta. The story was well told and illustrated in comic books released throughout 2001-2003. Unfortunately, the game butchers any intelligent story and makes it all one big, ugly, confusing mess.
For example, the Bionicle comic books told a very compelling storyline about the invasion of a massive swarm of creatures called "Bohrok" on the island. This invasion is the basis of the beginning of the game. The comics and other media make for an intense story as the Bohrok make the entire island a battleground, and the Toa must defend their besieged villages before helping the Matoran construct a mechanical army to fight back, eventually invading the Bohrok's own hives and destroying the queen Bohrok creatures. The storyline would have made a decent RTS game as each Bohrok swarm had different abilities and some were far more intelligent than others.
The Bionicle game not only fails to follow this well-build story in any way, but it doesn't even explain to you what the hell it's doing, the first half of the game has the player running around fighting giant Lego scorpions and mosquitoes before occasionally coming on a lone Bohrok. One encounter has the player fighting four Bohrok, but the sequence is nowhere near how well it could have been rendered. Not that the player ever gets an idea of what exactly is going on, or what the Bohrok even are.
Afterwards, the Toa "transform" into upgraded forms and take on the Bohrok-Kal, smarter and more powerful Bohrok. The comics tell another compelling story as the Toa are outsmarted and defeated by the Kal. The Toa are forced to band together to defeat them, using the Kal's own powers and selfish natures against them. This part of the story is also butchered as the player fights and defeats the six all in one sitting in an arbitrary little arena. The Kal are simply repaints of the regular Bohrok, and fighting all of them is exactly the same. It requires no strategy. Very little of the game requires strategy, actually.
For the rest of the game, the player is forced to endure poorly done "levels," half of which involve "surfing" down a large slope made of lava or ice, while others consist of running around and jumping or flying through uninspiring levels with the occasional Lego bug to defeat or simple puzzle to solve. Top it all of with a simple boss to defeat now and then. The game play is repetitive and ridiculously easy. Couple this with the shortness of the levels, and you can literally beat the game in an hour or two. There is no multiplayer feature, so this hour or two of simple game play is all that the game is worth.
Nothing about the game's mechanics is remarkable. Graphics are far behind the times for a 2003 game, and sound is a mixture of annoying simple music and poorly done voice acting. The most difficult enemy in the game is the camera, which insists on staying at the most inconvenient angle that gets in the way of game play. A PC controller is a must, since it would take three hands on the keyboard to move, attack, and keep the camera in check.
The one good thing that can be said about the game is its poorly rendered graphics are animated realistically and tend to do well on high-end machines, but this one nice perk can not make up for the almost complete failure of the game in every other way. Bionicle is a popular line of toys, but this game is the embodiment of wasted potential. Almost nothing good can be said about it. Do not buy this game; it would not even be worth your time if it were free.